Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 13 February 2008) . . Page.. 158 ..
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, on ABC radio on 28 January this year the acting minister for police said in relation to police numbers in the ACT:
Over the last three years, we’ve employed an additional 120 police within the ACT … These are extra police, Ross … this is 120 extra police.
Three days later, the same acting minister said in a media release that the government had “122 new police recruits since the ACT Labor government took office”.
Minister, was the Chief Minister correct when he said that there were an additional 120 police officers, that is 120 extra police officers, in Canberra over the last three years, or is the figure of 122 new police recruits since the Stanhope government came into office in 2001 correct?
MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Smyth for the question. I am not familiar with the details of the question the Chief Minister was asked in relation to police numbers and so it is really not appropriate for me to comment on exactly the context of the answer. But I can advise members that we have around 120 new recruits through the police college over the past 12 months, and that may be the figure that you refer to, Mr Smyth.
In relation to additional funded positions since 2004, the figure is 107 and I think the government has made that very clear repeatedly over the last 12 to 18 months, and, of course, the reason we have done that is that it is far more police than the Liberal Party ever put on the street when they were in government. This has been a very serious attempt by the Labor government to improve the resourcing for ACT Policing and make sure they have the capacity to deliver responsive policing services to the community. I know those additional 107 police have been welcomed by the Chief Police Officer, and what it will mean is that in the coming month or so ACT Policing will be putting in place an entirely new staffing roster for their teams across the ACT, which will mean more police available at the peak times to respond to category 1 and category 2 incidents in particular, and that, I think, will see a significant improvement in ACT Policing’s performance against its benchmarks and targets as set out in the policing arrangements and the policing agreement between me, on behalf of the territory, and the Chief Police Officer.
Those are the measures that this government has put in place. It is a very proud record of improving investment for ACT Policing and I think the numbers speak for themselves.
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Smyth?
MR SMYTH: Yes, thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what is the net increase in sworn police officers in Canberra—that is taking into account recruitment, minus the loss of police officers because of actions such as retirement, resignation, attachment or transfer—since the Stanhope government came to office in October 2001?
MR CORBELL: I cannot give Mr Smyth the answer from 2001—I will need to take that question on notice—but since 2004 the net increase is 107 extra police.